Santa wants you to be safe
A few holiday safety tips from the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) Group., which sets standards for consumer products:
- Look for a mark from an accredited certification organization like CSA Group on light strings, extension cords, and animated displays; and always follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Be cautious of deals that sound too good to be true - they could be counterfeit.
- Inspect light strings and discard any with frayed cords, cracked lamp holders or loose connections. Unplug light strings before replacing bulbs and make sure replacement bulbs match the voltage and wattage of the original.
- Turn off the electricity to the supply outlet before working with outdoor wiring. Keep electrical connectors above ground, out of water, and away from metal eavestroughs. Connect outdoor lighting into receptacles protected by weatherproof ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCI) which can provide protection from electric shock by sensing ground leakage and cutting electrical power.
- Use heavy duty extension cords for high wattage decorations and large electronically-animated displays.
- Don’t overload extension cords.
- If you buy a real tree, remember that fresh trees will be less likely to dry out and become a fire hazard. Artificial trees with electrical lights built into their displays should have a certification mark on them and should be made of fire-resistant material.
- Always have a working carbon monoxide and smoke alarm.
- Outdoor holiday lights are made for seasonal use only; exposure to harsh weather and extreme temperatures for long periods can present a very real risk of shock or fire. After the holiday season, take them down.